Politics graduate Melanie talks about her experience
With an interest in politics and a desire to make positive change, Melanie Kennedy-Diver chose to pursue the subject at the University of Central Lancashire.
When Melanie developed an interest in politics during her final year at college, she made the decision to study the subject at university and the University of Central Lancashire was the perfect choice due to its proximity to her home.
During her time studying BA Politics at UCLan, Melanie campaigned for disability rights and access. Talking about her disability advocacy experience, Melanie said: “I am a disabled person and I participated in the Disabled Students’ Society at UCLan, including being involved in the disability newsletter, Hold the Lift. I realised quite early on that you needed to advocate for your own rights and disability access."
She continued: “I needed to develop my political knowledge and skills to be able to do so in a mature, confident way. I believe my course did that and more.” Melanie credits the advice she received from UCLan staff and the friendships she made as one of her lasting memories of University.
"You should never be afraid to approach your lecturers for advice, they are paid to support you throughout your time at UCLan. Step outside of your comfort zone and try new things!"— Melanie Kennedy-Diver, BA (Hons) Politics graduate
After graduation, Melanie decided to study a master’s in Disability Studies. Recently, Melanie was selected to read a poem she’d written in public after submitting it to the Museum of Liverpool for an International Women’s Day 2022 project. Melanie has also been campaigning with People and Planet to encourage her current university to commit to a future with no fossil fuel divestments. Alongside this, Melanie has been asked to join a youth panel of disabled people for a well-known disability charity.
Talking about how her experience at UCLan has had a positive impact on her journey, Melanie said: “I think my experiences have made me more resilient and have helped me learn to take a step back and think. They also helped me to develop my debating and advocacy skills, all of which will benefit me moving forward.”
When asked about what advice she would give to those wanting to do something similar, Melanie said: “If you are given a good opportunity by the University, take it. You never know how it can change you and it looks great on your personal statements or CV. You should never be afraid to approach your lecturers for advice, they are paid to support you throughout your time at UCLan. Step outside of your comfort zone and try new things!”
She continued: “I’d like to thank my friends, former and current lecturers, and above all my father for helping me on this path.”